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In 2009, partner feedback had a significant impact on enhancements to the SAP Community Network (SCN). These upgrades increased overall usability, added new benefits, and provided unique opportunities for partner exposure. Here are just a few of the changes and the advantages they offered partners:

Platform feature enhancements, such as a new content review and rating system, optimized search, and new native language forums, allow partners to gain insight, demonstrate thought leadership, and drive demand for their services and solutions. 

New opportunities for partner exposure through community involvement promise to raise partners’ profiles and drive targeted lead generation:

  • Presence Packages offer partners, through sponsored content, a communication channel to showcase their solutions directly to targeted customers in SAP’s installed base.
  • Invitations to participate in community FEATURED EVENTS put partners face-to-face with customers—at our recent SAP TechEd event in Phoenix, 49 partners sponsored exhibits, close to 50 partners were invited to speak at educational sessions, and many more were involved in presenting at the 241 Expert Networking Lounge sessions. Related events, such as TechTour, connected partners with 16,000+ SAP customers in 50+ locations worldwide.
  • Expansion of SAP EcoHub to include SAP service providers offered SAP customers a way to easily discover, evaluate, and buy partner solutions and services from SAP’s community-powered online solution marketplace. Now, participation in EcoHub offers all partners a direct top line impact on their business–this year, EcoHub delivered 10,000+ online trials, generated leads from over 3,000 companies across 100 countries, and closed more then 70 deals!

Launch of the SCN Career Center and University Alliances Community (UAC) demonstrates SAP’s long standing commitment to bring together our partners and customers with qualified top talent. The Career Center offers a collaborative community environment where partners can easily access a pool of experienced candidates. UAC provides partners a rare opportunity to engage directly with faculty, students, SAP customers, and SAP internal experts to build personal relationships with those who will become the business experts and IT leaders of tomorrow.

SAP Guidelines for Best-Built Applications that Integrate with the SAP Business Suite provides ISVs guidelines and recommendations on what to build to adhere to architectural approaches, standards, and industry best practices used by SAP–lowering customers’ integration, training, administration, and upgrade costs.

Evolution of the SAP Mentor Initiative, which identifies and provides special status to the top SAP community influencers who share their high quality insights and passion with that community, grew to 75 mentors—almost half of whom were SAP partners. Mentors get access to SAP executives and experts—a valuable exchange that has raised the standard for high-value community engagement and has resulted in SAP product and service improvements that have directly benefited partners.

These enhancements and others led to extraordinary partner participation in SCN this year. Thank you to those of you who actively contributed to SCN.  You have been pivotal in creating one of the most engaging and content-rich online experiences available anywhere… a place where 2 million SCN members come to collaborate and co-innovate together.

If you are not yet involved or fully leveraging the benefits offered through participation in SCN, or you want to learn more, we want to hear from you! Please contact your SAP partner representative, send an email, or comment below.  Your input is essential as our platform evolves to benefit partners and all members in 2010.

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